I really thought being a retired, kept man was going to be much easier than it is proving to be. I mean kept; I assumed that didn’t entail dishes, laundry, cooking, cleaning. It was going to be a breeze for me. I was going to be back in the kayak fishing, going to the occasional tournament on some lake I had never fished. What the hell! I was supposed to be lounging and waited on – that is how I saw it working out!
I made it through Christmas with Dishrag and Sis, feeling pretty good after the first attack. We had so much fun just enjoying gifts, and science projects (which I had to clean up after – kept man my ass!). We took some pics with the mug and old suitcase they had both been photographed with when they were born. They laughed, I laughed, Joy and Katie laughed (their dad was not able to be with us this year, but he will be home very soon).
I even got an unexpected gift from Hannah, our daughter. I took the heart to mean that she loves me…I didn’t dig deeper.
DAY BEFORE NEW YEARS EVE
I went for a walk, Katie brought Dishrag and Sis over to spend some time. I watched them ride scooters and skateboards. I even rode the scooter for about a second – let’s be real, I am well into that “break a hip” age and had just had a heart attack, no need to tempt fate.
Joy made Mac and Cheese with fish sticks, I had some incredibly tasteless baked catfish…I could have smashed that homemade Mac and Cheese and fish sticks – but I would rather eat right than suffer another heart attack.
The kids wanted ice cream when we were done, so I drove to food Lion and picked up my favorite – Breyers Vanilla Bean; some toppings and bananas. I came home, made banana splits and watched them eat; my mouth watering at the thought of ice cream and caramel topping. But instead of eating with them – because I would rather eat right than have another heart attack – I cut up an apple, threw it in a pan with some cinnamon – trying to eat right and not have another heart attack – trying to prolong my status of kept man…even though I have learned it is not all I dreamt it would be….
…ate the last bite of that apple…
…said “hey” to Joy…
…looked over at Joy who stood up because she saw it…
…turned to my daughter and asked her to please get the babies out of there quick…
…I DID NOT want that to be their last image of me…
…and had that heart attack anyway.
25 minutes later I was chewing aspirin with IVs hangin all over, and a nitro patch on my chest in the ER at exit 11 (THANKFULLY I made it there). Blood pressure at a low 230/116 or so, freaking out in tears that those babies almost saw their Boppa die in front of them.
About nine hours later I was back a Centennial after my second ambulance ride with a third IV pouring blood thinners into me. We watched New Years Eve fireworks from the room – not because we wanted to, but they do not believe in letting you sleep in the hospital.
The heart cath revealed it had taken my body just over two weeks to close up the stent they had put in during the first attack. I freaked out when they said they were just leaving it. JUST LEAVING IT? I am an engineer and if equipment has faulty parts, you better damn well fix it!
I was thinking I had months to live, but they tried to assure me that wasn’t the case. I was scared.
Joy knew it was ok, but I was struggling to see past January in my life until a doctor visit yesterday. The cardiologists gave me some lessons on the heart. They explained a lot…used some words I had to look up on the Google…gave some explanations I had to google even more. Talked about some kind of capillary network that would keep me ok because my heart was still strong.
(this spaced filled with technical words and phrases that I will never fully understand)…but then…
I could see the relief on my Joy’s face once I accepted that I will most likely make it past January. She tells me to quit saying I am not going to make it; that I am sorry. She will yell at me if she reads this, but it is hard to be a “fixer” who has lost control; the ability to take care of this for her.
Sorry Joy, I am sad that I put you through all of this. Yell away.
And here I am – we are.
A wee bit overwhelmed by it all, but still extremely thankful to be able to type and share my gratitude to all who reached out, to those who offered their prayers and thoughts…to all of y’all.
I am blessed.
A FAVOR ??
For real though; all of you who asked if I needed anything… if any of you could reach out to Joy and explain that I don’t need to be doing chores I would owe you. I am supposed to be watching Netflix, going fishing, walking for exercise…getting back rubs. I should be working on stories, articles or that great novel as she keeps my glass full.
I googled this to help you talk to her:
Noun. kept man A man who lives off his lover.
It doesn’t say anything about “for the price of laundry and dishes”! Help?